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Mercury–Organic Matter Interactions in Soils and Sediments: Angel or Devil?

  • Mei He
  • Lei Tian
  • Hans Fredrik Veiteberg Braaten
  • Qingru Wu
  • Jie Luo
  • Li-Mei Cai
  • Jiang-Hui Meng
  • Yan Lin
Focused Review

Abstract

Many studies have suggested that organic matter (OM) substantially reduces the bioavailability and risks of mercury (Hg) in soils and sediments; however, recent reports have supported that OM greatly accelerates Hg methylation and increases the risks of Hg exposure. This study aims to summarize the interactions between Hg and OM in soils and sediments and improve our understanding of the effects of OM on Hg methylation. The results show that OM characteristics, promotion of the activity of Hg-methylating microbial communities, and the microbial availability of Hg accounted for the acceleration of Hg methylation which increases the risk of Hg exposure. These three key aspects were driven by multiple factors, including the types and content of OM, Hg speciation, desorption and dissolution kinetics and environmental conditions.

Keywords

Organic matter Methyl-mercury Hg Bioavailability Microbial methylation 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41472124), PetroChina Innovation Foundation (Grant Nos. 2015D-5006-0210 and 2016D-5007-0702), Natural Science Foundation of Hubei Province (Grant Nos. 2016CFB178 and 2016CFB601), the Yangtze Youth Fund (Grant No. 2016cqr14) and China Scholarship Council (Grant Nos. 201708420108 and 201708420260).

Supplementary material

128_2018_2523_MOESM1_ESM.docx (31 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 31 KB)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Resources and EnvironmentYangtze UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of Petroleum EngineeringYangtze UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Norwegian Institute for Water ResearchOsloNorway
  4. 4.State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, School of EnvironmentTsinghua UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  5. 5.Hubei Cooperative Innovation Center of Unconventional Oil and GasYangtze UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China

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